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Negative Review Response Examples: Responding to Bad Reviews

Examples for How to Respond to Reviews on Google and Facebook

Why Responding to a Negative Review Helps Your Reputation Management Strategy

When it comes to customer feedback, responding to negative reviews isn’t always fun. But it’s rarely an option either.

Potential customers research small businesses by looking at customer reviews to see if a business has a good reputation. This includes looking at negative reviews and how a company handles negative reviews.

A business needs to manage their reputation to improve search rankings and convert more website leads; responding to online reviews—positive and negative—is vital to solidifying your reputation.

Banner promoting NiceJob's reputation marketing software to get more online reviews.

The Impact of Responding to Negative Reviews for Reputation Marketing

Having a strong online reputation is critical for any small business.

Customer reviews are a big part of your company's reputation. They tell future customers what they can expect by hiring your company or buying your products.

Therefore, collecting and responding to reviews is an essential aspect of reputation management, especially when it comes to negative reviews.

How a company handles negative reviews reveals their character.

Of course, some negative reviews are fake or violate Google's reviews policy, and in those instances, it's important to know how to remove bad reviews from Google.

But often negative reviews are legitimate and it's important to respond. In some cases, replying to negative reviews gives businesses an opportunity to win a customer back or even mitigate further damage.

For example, replying to negative online reviews shows you care about customer feedback. When people feel listened to and respected, they'll be more likely to support your business in their networks.

This contributes positively to your company's reputation and helps to increase referral revenue down the road.

By responding to negative reviews with compassion and respect, you place your business into a better position to move forward with reputation marketing: using your company's own reputation with customer reviews to promote your business.

A good reputation can amplify itself, leading to growth opportunities and more sales. This is the principle that is at the heart of reputation marketing.

Importance of Online Reviews and Responding to Reviews

It's clear that online reviews are important for any small business.

As mentioned, reviews help increase search-engine rankings and improve conversion rates of turning website visitors into leads. But how a company responds to its reviews is just as essential. Out of everyone who reads online reviews, 97% of potential customers read businesses' responses to reviews.

So, how can you better manage your reputation and handle negative online reviews to keep your business moving forward?

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How to Respond to a Negative Review

There’s a number of things to consider when responding to negative reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp or similar review sites. We'll go over six key things to consider when replying to negative customer feedback and provide six example templates of how you can respond if someone leaves a negative review of your business.

Keep in mind that each review response should be personalized and canned responses should be avoided. Please use these examples as a guide for your own responses so you can turn those frowns upside down!

6 Tips for Responding to Negative Reviews

  1. Respond promptly to negative feedback
  2. Be professional when replying to bad reviews
  3. Keep it brief
  4. Provide a public response and then take the conversation offline
  5. Know when to respond and when to let it lie
  6. Learn how to handle negative reviews and crisis management

1. Respond Promptly to Negative Feedback

When should you respond to a negative review? Most consumers expect a reply within the same day. Respond quickly to negative reviews so that you can resolve the issue and address the situation in a timely manner. To do so, you need to monitor reviews often so that you know when an unhappy customer has left a negative review.

2. Be Professional When Replying to Bad Reviews

How you respond to negative reviews on Google, Facebook or Yelp matters. Don't get personal and blast off an angry rant when replying to a negative review. Your reply isn't just for an individual but for everyone else too. How you respond to a dissatisfied customer can influence a future customer's decision to choose your business.

3. Keep it Brief

When writing a response to a negative online review, keep it brief and get to the point. Steer the customer towards having a conversation to resolve the issue and suggest taking it offline.

4. Provide a Public Response and Then Take the Conversation Offline

Respond in public to negative customer feedback and when suitable, take things offline. Replying to negative reviews on Google, Facebook or Yelp allows you to provide context and show that your business works to make customers happy. Once resolved, return to the original review and thank the customer for the chance to fix the issue.

5. Know When to Respond and When to Let it Lie

Not every negative review is about something you can fix. Some responses open you up to more negative attention. Determine if engagement is the right course of action and avoid replying to the rants of someone angry at life. Sometimes you have to stand your ground (see response #7 below), but know where to draw the line.

6. Learn How to Handle Negative Reviews and Crisis Management

There are times when negative sentiment online causes others to jump on the bandwagon. Every situation is different, but no situation calls for confrontation or excuses. Tackle the issue head-on and own your mistakes. In a crisis-management situation, it is best to take the conversation offline as soon as it's appropriate.

7 Response Examples for Negative Reviews

  1. Hello [NAME],

    We would like to apologize for your recent experience. We're sorry to hear you were less than satisfied with [product/service].

    We pride ourselves on our [product/service] and the high quality standards we maintain. We would like to make things right.

    You can expect a [call/email] from [name] soon to discuss what occurred and how we might make it up to you.

    Yours sincerely,
    [Company name and/or position]
  2. Hello [NAME],

    We’re sorry to hear of your less-than-satisfactory experience with [Company] and hope you will accept our sincerest apologies.

    Being known for our great [customer service/product/service], we would like to make things right.

    We will reach out soon and you should get a [call/email] from [Name] to determine how we can provide a solution that makes you smile.

    If you prefer, you can also contact us directly at [phone/email].

    We value our customers' opinions and would like to thank you for bringing this to our attention.

    Yours sincerely,
    [Company name and/or position]
  3. Hello [NAME],

    My name is [Name] and I am the [manager/owner] here at [Company].

    I’m sorry to hear about your disappointment with us and I would like to personally assist you with making things right.

    I will reach out today to discuss, or you can contact me directly at [phone/email] if it's more convenient.

    Let’s get on a call and address this ASAP; we value your business.

    Yours sincerely,
    [Company name and/or position]
  4. Hello [NAME],

    We understand your disappointment with [Company] and agree that this is not acceptable.

    It’s important to us that our customers are more than satisfied and we would like the opportunity to resolve this issue immediately.

    If you give us a chance, we intend to make this right and hope you will allow us to speak with you to discuss the situation.

    Please give me a call at [phone] at your earliest convenience.

    Yours sincerely,
    [Company name and/or position]
  5. Hello [NAME],

    e’re so sorry this happened. Let us make it up to you. We’ll be in touch today, or please give me a call at [phone] if it's more convenient.

    Yours sincerely,
    [Company name and/or position]
  6. Hello [NAME],

    You’re right—this is unacceptable. I can’t imagine how this may have happened, but if you allow me the chance to speak with you at your earliest convenience, I would like to make it right so we can get this sorted.

    My number is [phone] or you can email me at [email].

    I’m sorry this happened and look forward to speaking with you.

    Yours sincerely,
    [Company name and/or position]
  7. Hello [NAME],

    My apologies about your experience with our company.

    You indicated that [X, Y and Z] are the reasons for your dissatisfaction. However, our records in your account indicate that [X, Y and Z] did not occur as you described them. For example, [respectfully provide specific details if appropriate and relevant].

    We pride ourselves on our reputation in the local community and welcome further discussion to hopefully resolve your issue. If you'd like, please contact me directly at [phone/email].

    Yours sincerely,
    [Company name and/or position]
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Responding to Online Reviews for Business Reputation Management

While it can be difficult, maintaining the integrity of your business is an important part of reputation management. Online reviews are trusted by roughly 90% of consumers and many read businesses' review responses.

When responding to negative reviews of your business, remember to keep it succinct, be prompt with your reply and be professional. Provide a public response and when suitable, suggest taking it offline. Once resolved, return to the online review and thank your customer for allowing you to fix the situation.

Keep in mind that less than five percent of dissatisfied customers ever take the time to mention why they’re unhappy. This means the unhappy customers who are sharing their negative experiences are doing your business a favor.

How to Reply to Google Reviews and More With NiceJob

Staying on top of reviews—positive or negative—can be time-consuming and inefficient. With NiceJob's reputation marketing services, you can automatically collect reviews from happy customers, share positive reviews across social media & your website and quickly & effectively respond to reviews for Google, Facebook and Yelp.

And with a free 14-day trial, you can see for yourself how easy it is to leverage customer reviews for your marketing efforts with no upfront commitment.

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